Sythrum

Sythrum MAI S NO297008 1 373 55m NOF

Scheithum 1471 RMS ii no. 1042 [to Andrew of Sythrum]
Scheithum 1497 RMS ii no. 2342 [money from the lands of Sythrum MAI and Cadham (Caldhame) LSL to chaplains serving the altar of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the parish kirk of Largo]
Scheithum 1497 RMS ii no. 2343 [to Robert Lundy of Balgonie MAI the lands of Sythrum, Cadham (Caldhame) LSL, the grain mill, the waulkmill, and the *Blackfaulds (le Blakfaldis), with their tenants etc, ‘on the north and south sides of the Leven’ (ex boreali et australi partibus aque de Levin), which lands were resigned by Thomas Sythrum (Scheithum)]
Schethome 1510 RSS i no. 2010
(lands of) Schethum 1511 RMS ii no. 3567 [viz the manor and mains of Sythrum, *Blackfaulds (Blakfawldis), Cadham (Cowdane), with waulk mills and corn mills, and the presentation of chaplainries; see Balgonie MAI]
Schethin c.1560 s Purves 155 [?5]
Schettoun 1587 Assumption 15 [‘Ballgony, Spitill, Myltoun, Schettoun with mill and Cauldhame’]
(lands of) Scerthum 1603 Retours (Fife) no. 129 [viz. the mains lands of Sythrum (Scherthum) (sic), *Blackfaulds (Blaukfauldis), Cadham (Cowdame) LSL, with grain and waulk mills, and the presentation of the chaplainries with certain other lands in Perth, united in the barony of Balgonie (Balgony)]
(lands of) Schethume 1627 RMS viii no. 1058 [including *Blackfaulds (Blakfauldis) and Cadham (Cawdame)]
(lands of) Schethum 1627 Retours (Fife) no. 384
Scherthumbe 1635 RMS ix no. 338
(mill of) Scherthumb 1634 RMS ix no. 338
Shyrthum 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife
Shirthum 1675 Retours (Fife) no. 1142 [and ‘the mill of Sythrum’ (molendinum de Shirthum)]
Shethrum Bridge 1725 Geog. Coll. 301 [by the Laird of Balfour]
Seskrum 1775 Ainslie/Fife [and Seskrum Mill]
Scythrum 1787 Sasines no. 1591 [‘tenement and part of Scythrum and Scripshinning’]
Scythrum 1787 Sasines no. 1591 [‘tenement and part of Scythrum and Scripshinning’]
Sythrum 1828 SGF [and Sythrum Mill]

This is an obscure name, and it is not even clear in which language it was coined. From the modern stress pattern, with stress on the second syllable, it would seem to be of Celtic origin, but the name has undergone so much change in the early modern period that even the evidence from stress has to be treated with some caution. It is clear, however, that the r in the modern form is what can be termed ‘intrusive’ or ‘inorganic’, since it does not start to appear till the early seventeenth century. If it is of Celtic origin, the first element could well be G sìth, ‘fairy, person from the Other World’, also applied to conspicuous hills or mounds (see PNF 5, Elements Glossary, s.v., for more details). The second element may then be G tom (gen. sing. tuim) ‘hillock, mound’, although this element, productive in place-names in other parts of Scotland, is not otherwise found in Fife.

    The name occurs frequently in Fife Ct. Bk. but only as a surname, and that always in forms without r e.g. in 1516 Alexander Schethome of Skelpie CTL (Caskelpy), p. 38; and in 1521 Alexander Schethum, p. 208.[253]

    The traditional pronunciation is /ʃɪˈθrʌm/; however, the local street-name Sythrum Crescent in Woodside, Glenrothes, is pronounced /ˈsɪθrʌm/.[254]

This place-name appeared in printed volume 2